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Topic: reading numbers
Replies: 3   Last Post: Jun 23, 1995 8:23 PM

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Michael South

Posts: 16
Registered: 12/6/04
reading numbers
Posted: Jun 20, 1995 1:41 PM
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Two points concerning the reading of numbers.
a) The fact that a person reads .45 as "point four five" does not _necessarily_
imply that they do not understand what those figures rpresent. However, it
is possible for a student (or a monkey, for that matter, if they could talk) to
simply move from left to right identifying characters one at a time and
read, "correctly", "point four five". For this reason, it seems to me like
there may be good reason to use _some_ other way of reading the number whan
kids are just starting out. Say forty-five hundreths, or 4 tenths and
five hundredths, or any other way you can think of that lets them know
the meaning fo the number. It doesn't seem to me that there is just _one_
correct way, but at the very least a teacher ought to keep in mind that
reading off characters left to right is consistent with having no concept
of what the characters mean, although it doesn't imply it.

b) As someone just pointed out, what's important (it seems to me) is that
everything we do with the kids helps them to develop their number sense.
If the way that we have them say the numbers contributes to the development
of number sense, then that would seem to be a good thing. People like to
see patterns and consistency (maybe I am just generalizing from myself--I
can still feel a twinge of excitement when I think about the fact that
percents and fractions and decimals are really all representations of
the same thing). It would be neat if kids didn't have to wait until they
were in college to discover this...

Just a couple thoughts.


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